Great Leadership Communication Starts With These 3 Beliefs

What are the beliefs behind your communication style and habits?

As an organizational leader do you even think about things like that?

If you don’t, you should!

As you probably are aware earlier this year I wrote a white paper report on effective leadership communication called “The 7 Deadliest Sins of Organizational Leadership Communication.”

In working with a couple of clients, and in discussing these issues with some prospective clients I came to realize that there are some underlying beliefs that enable leaders to communicate most effectively and get the most out of their people.

As you read these beliefs notice how they resonate with you and if you are leading and communicating with them as your foundation:

  • It’s the Gestalt of the Communication That Counts Most
  • Presume Good Intent
  • The Meaning of Any Communication Is the Response You Get

Let’s take a deeper look at each:

  • It’s the Gestalt of the Communication That Counts Most
    Since the early 70s communication training has included the statistic that the components of communication words, tone and body language have significant weight differences in terms of the importance in communicating a message’s meaning. Those percentages of 7% for words, 38% for tone and a whopping 55% for body language.

    The challenge with those numbers, I believe is that they just don’t add up, so to speak. In my work I’ve found words to be extremely important and I bet you have, too. Additionally, tone also is extremely powerful.

    A leader must be aware of their entire package of how they communicate to be most effective. At a minimum I would give all three equal percentages, and make sure that all three components in any message that is communicated are congruent and appropriate for the message.

  • Presume Good Intent
    Great leaders bring a positive belief to the conversations they have so that the conversation has the best chance of having successful outcome. The reason this belief is so important is that a leader will bring a different tone, a different attitude and much different energy to a conversation and a relationship if one believes the person on the other side is not coming to the table with positive intentions.

    Additionally, we all have relationships with individuals with whom our trust level is low and with whom coming to a conversation with positive intent is going to be very difficult. Great leaders do it anyway.

  • The Meaning of Any Communication Is the Response You Get
    Great leadership communication includes this belief that means it is the person doing the communicating is responsible for conveying the appropriate and intended meaning, and they understand that that meaning is conveyed solely by the response they get from the person to whom they are communicating.

    As an example, if I ask my wife to pick me up at the train station at 4pm, and she doesn’t think she needs to show up ’til 6pm, forcing me to take a cab home, it is my responsibility for the fact she didn’t properly receive and assimilate my message.

    Great leaders communicate with this belief because it places the responsibility on them to ensure they are communicating clearly. This leadership communication belief stops finger pointing and blaming, allowing greater levels of trust to build between leaders and their team members.

Imagine if you were to incorporate these three powerful leadership communication beliefs into your leadership style and approach.

What do you think?

Just a reminder – these 3 beliefs will help you avoid committing one of “The 7 Deadliest Sins of Organizational Leadership Communication”. If you’d like to learn about those 7 leadership communication mistakes that are killing your organization’s morale and motivation, you can download the white paper for free at

’til next time, make it a great week!
skip weisman, helping leaders motivate employees to improve organizational performance